Unconditional Love vs. Conditional Grace

Throwback Thursday. I wrote this back in 2018. I really had no idea about theology or more specifically soteriology back then but I still think this entry holds up even if it’s a little sloppy.

The Good Word

I once wrote that if God’s love has conditions I am okay with them but I would like to correct that writing with this weeks blog post. It is not conditional love but it is conditional grace. God loves us all and wants us all to be saved. The Bible makes that
obvious. The word Love is mentioned 310 times in the Bible.

The Grace of God is that part that is conditional you must accept the salvation through Jesus Christ.

I have heard often from skeptics that if there is a God it is unfair that they won’t be able to get into Heaven for their lack of belief, they believe they’re good people and that should be enough.

Let me give you a hypothetical scenario, a Father builds his two children a home each, he supplies them with everything they need and sends them out with a small…

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One Of The Easiest and Hardest Things Christians Can Do

Matthew 7:1-5 English Standard Version

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

This teaching Jesus taught us is often quoted, depending on your translation it may read “plank” instead of log.

This is a very good (and some what humorous) illustration Jesus uses to teach us to work on our own sin and faults before we attempt to point out others.

The truth is a log or a plank blinds you and is obvious to others. It is easy for us to not even see our own sin and faults because we are not only blinded but the little we do see is others and unless we can see our own reflection.

This is why we must be self aware of our actions in order that we do not fall into hypocrisy.

Now of course that doesn’t mean we can’t talk to others about their sins or faults but it does mean we can’t make them our main focus.

We must work on our own sins and unrighteousness. We must go to God in repentance.

One of the Easiest things a Christian can do is only focus on others sins and faults, in that case it is not up to you and you do not have to change anything. You just tell the other person what they need to do and that’s that. Many choose to do this and boy is it easy.

One of the hardest things a Christian can do is to focus on their own sins and faults. In this case it is up to you, you have to change. But the good news is its not ALL up to you. God can help you. But we have to take up our cross and follow Him. We must crucify the flesh and we must let go of what needs to be let go of.

Remember if you do wish to talk to others about their issues no one will listen to the hypocrite with the log in their eye. Remove it or at least show the person that you’re aware it exists and are trying to remove it.

Be humble, submit to the Lord and be a servant of God.

Do what is hard and not what is easy.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Daily Scripture Reading Plan:
Monday – Proverbs 31:10-31

Tuesday – Psalm 98:1-5

Wednesday – James 3:13-4:8

Thursday – Mark 9:30-37

“The Problem With American Christianity is…”

How often have you heard that begin a statement? Or maybe its in the form of a question or they will substitute “Christianity” with “church”.

It seems too often that message is muttered in different ways and the person saying it always has the answers.

I want to throw this out there, and there will be some irony in my message.

The problem with American Christianity is people telling others what’s wrong with American Christianity.

Rarely do you actually hear a person talk about their own flaws, commonly you hear about the flaws of others.

Rarely do you hear about the flaws and problems of a person’s own church or denomination, commonly you hear about the flaws and problems of other churches and denominations.

This leads to anger, resentment, sadness and a wide variety of negative feelings.

Also many planks in a person’s eye goes ignored as they attempt to address their brother’s. This gets in the way of their sanctification and spiritual growth with God.

I know all these things said to be true because it describes me!

I get so angry at others, I don’t understand why they don’t think a certain way or behave in a Christian manner.

Then I end up thinking ungodly thoughts and behaving in unchristian ways.

Lord have mercy on me and help me better.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 1 Kings 8:1,6,10-11,22-30,41-43

Tuesday – Psalm 84

Wednesday – Ephesians 6:10-20

Thursday – John 6:56-69

Be Warned Don’t Become The Wolf

We hear often that we must beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. This a very true and important message found in scripture.

I’ve heard recently from a Pastor that a good Sheppard protects the flock from the wolves.

That is also true.

However when doing so a person must become mindful of their behavior and emotions.

I’ve seen this too many times, a person begins to become angry, hostile in their defense of God’s Word and the flock. They begin to mock, scoff and forget to call to repentance the person they’re targeting. Then before you know they’re more and more people they deem, “wolves” and “heretics”. Before you know it the line becomes blurred and there seems to be more wolves then sheep.

What seems to happen is the Sheppard now has become the wolf.

What then happens is only destruction and bloodshed. To the outsider looking in all they see is two wolves surrounded by destroyed sheep. Even worse the original wolf may looked like the victim and the one who was trying to defend the flock looks like the perpetrator.

So how does this become avoided?

We stand firm on God’s Word by having it in our hearts, minds and spirit. That way our hearts will resemble God’s, our minds will think like God’s mind and His Spirit will be guiding us along the way.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14

Tuesday – Psalm 111

Wednesday – Ephesians 5:15-20

Thursday – John 6:51-58

Labels Can Be Burdensome

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how people view the world, primarily how Christians view the world and it’s on going issues.

Despite all of us in the faith following the same Bible and the true and living God we seem to have a lot of different views points on things.

This leads to a lot of anger, frustration, resentment and even sadness in the Body of Christ. We get divided on these worldly topics and even claim that others are less Christian for taking the other side.

Now they’re some clear cut views on issues that as a Christian you should have but I’ve heard some outlandish accusations by Christians against other believers on issues that are not so clear cut. Often they will take scripture out of context to try and fit it into their world view or situation. That is both wrong and dangerous.

Specific examples of this would just be distracting from the point of this entry so instead I’ll focus on why I think this is happening.

It’s because of labels, labels can be burdensome.

Think about it, I’ll use myself as an example.

I’m a white, male, American, Christian who is mostly conservative.

Think about what comes with each of those labels, thoughts, behaviors, opinions. Some of them will contradict with each other and I will most likely look at things differently than someone of a different race, sex, nationality, political ideology or religion.

That’s not even going into upbringing, environment and other factors.

So what do you do about this? How do you not contradict yourself while you try and understand other people who are different than you?

You shed your labels and focus on the Kingdom of God. That may sound easier said than done. Believe me, I know it’s hard. Reading the Bible has convicted me many times, causing me to question my opinion and views.

As hard as it may be, think about how rewarding it would be to try and see the world like God does. How much a relief it would be to be able to have the focus on God?

What if instead of all those labels you can look at things as a child of God?

Redefine yourself. I’ll go first.

My name is Chris, I’m a child of God, a Christian who just happens to be white, who is also a man, who currently lives in the United States.

God help see the world like you.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Scripture Readings:

Monday – 2 Samuel 18:5-9,15,31-33

Tuesday – Psalm 130

Wednesday – Ephesians 4:25-5:2

Thursday – John 6:35,41-51

Jesus loves the little children

The Good Word

Remember that song Jesus loves the little children?

Here is a selection from Matthew 18, it is verses 2-7, “2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through…

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